Friday, 28 August 2015

Elm II Running Commentary

I'll be writing this in dribs and drabs today because that's how I'm working.
The left limb was still stiff in the outer third and overall a bit stiff, I did a little more work with a fine set spokeshave and rasp, checking the tiller on a slack string, but still haven't got back to brace height.
I seem to have done a lot and seen little change... Now this is the point where the beginner thinks "I need to step up to coarser tools and really remove some wood" Fatal!

This is the point where I think, it's not moving yet, but I know I've taken off a reasonable amount, I do another couple of strokes with the spokeshave on that lower limb and then exercise the bow, by pulling it back repeatedly on the tiller with a view to getting it to a low brace.
As I pull it I'm peering down the left limb and I can see the outer third is actually flexing a bit. I twist the string up and get it a low brace just an inch or two... Devil's own job to get the string on even with a stringer. I start pulling again up and down, getting up to 100# and beyond. Yes it is flexing more, and wouldn't you know it, the right is looking a tad stiff near centre now.
Slow and steady wins the day, and if progress seems slow, don't be tempted to gallop away taking off tons of wood.
I'm still not back to where it was before heat treating but V close. I reckon the heat treating adds about 10# to a normal draw weight bow, and bear in mind I also took out about 2" of deflex, so that accounts for the work required to get back to where I was.
I've posted a Youtube video with a look over the stave and it then being flexed to just over 100# at about 24"

I'll be updating this post during the day, when hopefully the centre will be bending more rounded and the outer thirds will be working more. Maybe time to think about putting nocks on too.
Done more narrowing the tips, taking some off the belly at the grip. I've got it at 5" brace pulling 100# at 26" so it's getting closer.
I'm toying with reversing it of the tiller, making the slightly stiffer right limb the lower. That will also put the knot onto the theoretically slightly less stressed upper limb.
I say theoretically as, how many of you have ever seen a bow break on the lower limb? I think I've only ever seen the upper limb break, mind you can't always tell when they completely explode.
All getting a bit nervy now, so it's stop think, have a cup of tea. I really need to man up and pull it to 115-120# but maybe I'll get the tips working a tad more first.
I'll leave it braced for a few hours, help it to settle.

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